Yesterday in addition to completing my 4k run on the treadmill in the gym I went parasailing.
It was the first time I’ve been parasailing. Caroline and I had another amazing lunch at the hotel buffet and then wandered down to the beach. The beach is very close to the hotel; a short walk away. At the beach we wandered along the store fronts and found the one for excursions. As luck would have it, I recognised the logo on their business cards and was able to negotiate a discount – on account of the fact that Natalie had shown me her card when she was approached the day before. 12 minutes in the sky for €29, I thought it was a bargain, especially as the advertised price was €40.
We went for a quick drink overlooking the harbour and then at 4:30 Caroline and I met the driver from AJ Fly, the parasailing outfit. It was at this point that we went our separate ways, Caroline went back to the hotel to observe from a safe distance – and I took the short drive down to the boat.
We arrived at the harbour and went down to the boat. It was me and a young couple, on the boat with the driver and an assistant. We motored out past the rows of jet skis into deeper water and the driver stopped the boat. In the absence of a volunteer to go first, I proposed myself and stood up on the platform at the back of the boat readied in my harness and holding first the bar above the harness and then the straps.
Under clear instruction I sat down on the platform and with a nod and a glance I was off the back of the boat steadily rising. Going out and up simultaneously but gently was enjoyable. There was no expected adrenalin rush, no fear, just a smooth gentle lifting above the water and up.
When I reached top height I felt the rope go taught and it was at this point that I really felt connected to the boat as I was jerked slightly forward. There was a feeling of uneasiness and the only fear I had was that I would suddenly and unexpectedly come down to the water and get covered and smothered by the parachute. I had enough faith already in the calm and straightforward approach of the 2-man crew not to overly worry about that scenario and decided just to relax.
I remembered the flyer I had been given after booking that spoke about feeling as free as a bird and I tried to imagine that I was a bird. I floated for ages, always out to sea, which was a bit of a shame – as I wanted really to see the shoreline and go parallel to the shore. I just remember how relaxing it was. I didn’t look straight down and I didn’t look straight up. At times the ropes above would seem to creak, but other than that small worry – there really were no cares.
On the descent, the driver skillfully kept me out at the back of the boat so that my feet dipped into the cool (not cold) water. The assistant was taking pictures, some with my feet in the water, and some with my arms out like the shape of an aeroplane you make when you’re a kid. I was reeled in and then it was the turn for the young couple.
On the way back to the shore, we were reminded that this was a commercial exercise for the operator as we were told that we could buy a short video and some stills of our experience for a further €25. But I had no cash, and the quality of the stills and the video were less than amateur (sorry guys!). Not a surprise I suppose when you consider the boat was moving fast.
I had actually an interest in buying the photos for the blog – but if you’re interested, take a look at the AJ Fly FaceBook site, you’ll see some better pictures there than the ones I would have got.
Overall I would recommend Parasailing as a one-off. As a sport, I’m not sure what more you can do, but as a one-off, it’s a pretty relaxing and enjoyable experience and I would go for it if you get the chance.